Despite being an ultra-modern and cosmopolitan metropolis that takes ever bigger steps into the future, Singapore is a nation that holds on strongly to its past, and this island city is steeped in culture and heritage. It has stood on the crossroads of cultures both Eastern and Western for centuries now, and is a unique melting pot of ethnicities. Singapore's role as the centre stage of this region's history is etched primarily in the cuisines and architecture of the city. While much of the history presented in museums and textbooks is primarily post-colonial, signs of its importance even in pre-colonial times have begun to surface. Even as Singapore looks towards the future, the rich heritage and diverse cultures of the city continue to fascinate and engage both locals and tourists alike.